CHAN 2014: We don’t have enough time to prepare, says Keshi


stephen_keshiHead Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has said that the team does not have enough time to prepare for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier in Kaduna.

Keshi however told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the team’s training session on Tuesday in Abuja that in spite of the short period, the team would do its best.

NAN reports that the Eagles are preparing for the CHAN qualifying match against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire on July 6, at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

The 24 players invited to camp in Abuja had started training on Monday and would move to Kaduna on Wednesday to fine tune preparations for the match.

“The training session has been going good so far. It is just that we don’t have enough time.

“But, nevertheless, we will try to do our best to get our team ready for the game on Saturday,’’ Keshi said.

He said that the team would need prayers for the players’ good health which he said is ‘paramount’.

“We want to pray that God will give the players good health because that is paramount.

“If they are in good health and in good state of mind, by God’s grace, we will get the result we desire,’’ he said.

Commenting on the Super Eagles’ performance at the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, Keshi said it was impressive and urged Nigerians to be patient with the team.

“We know that the performance there was very high and I wouldn’t ask for more than that.

“Yes, I agree that we have a little problem up front, because we created a lot of chances against the best of the best teams in the world, but we couldn’t score.

“But I am not having sleepless nights over it because I know the time will soon come when these boys will start scoring.

“We just have to be patient, although, I understand the feelings of Nigerians; they should just exercise patience with the team,’’ the Super eagles coach said.

On the invitation of foreign based players to complement those in the team, Keshi said there are lots of things attached to inviting players apart from just playing on the field.

“ There are a lot of things involved in bringing a player into a team, you have to watch the character of the player if it is going to help the team.

“This is because we want the best for our players to be disciplined. If as a father at home, your kids are not disciplined, nothing will function.

“And I am very sure with what I am doing; we are trying to build a team, and the team is beginning to take shape now.

“So I do not want to be the architect of bringing the team down and we have to be careful about it, it is not about sentiment,’’ he said.

NAN reports that CHAN is played between the best African national teams, exclusively featuring home-based players who are qualified to play in the ongoing season.

The 2014 edition, which is the third edition of the competition, started in 2009 and will take place in South Africa.


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